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Discrimination of Gypsy/Roma/Young People and Their Communities


Gypsy/Travellers still experience substantial racism and negative societal attitudes and assumptions towards their community, culture and traditions; resulting in discrimination at all levels.

“We used to have bricks thrown at us and called names every day at one site, but you just get used to it.”

“I want people to have more understanding about Gypsy/Travellers and to be less discriminated against – not to be all branded the same.”

“On one site when we were shifting [moving on] last week, there were men who came to where we were camped and were throwing metal poles at our trailers.”

“When we are shifting, it can be bad but when we are on our usual site, its fine because people know us here.”

“A lot of people don’t like us, some people are fine but others are not.”

“People think we are out to cause trouble.”

“Young people are barred from cinemas.”

“Banned from cinemas – when you go to the pictures you’re not allowed in.”

“Discrimination in the job centre.”

“Access to services, dentists and doctors is difficult.”

“When booking weddings we need to get ‘country/settled people’ to book on our behalf, if the venue finds out it is a Traveller wedding they will cancel at the last minute.”

“Security guards follow us around the shops.”

“Can’t walk around shops without being followed”

“Hate crime – broken windows or egged windows.”

“Police don’t listen to us, they hate Travellers, they listen to settled people before us.”

“Police can be unfair – asking why you aren’t at school and not being culturally sensitive.”

“People don’t like Travellers living beside them – they’re racist.”

“We face discrimination because of being a Gypsy.”

“Getting shouted at on the street”

“Racism – people shouting abuse in the street because we are Gypsy/Travellers”

“It depends on where you are, whether people respect you”

“Can’t get taxis.”

“If you have a job and they find out [you are a Gypsy/Traveller] you get sacked.”

“When you stop in trailers you get given notice and moved by police”

“Signs on doors saying you ain’t allowed in if you’re a Gypsy.”

“The RSPCA judge us just because we are Gypsy/Travellers”

They discussed offensive words used to describe the community:

“Dirty, tinkers, live in dumps,. Thieves, negative opinions, big dresses, diamonds, holy [religious]”

And the need for equal recognition and rights:

“We feel like Gypsy/Travellers are an endangered species.”

“I now realise there are so many rights that Gypsy/Travellers are neglected from.”

“Gypsy/Traveller children have the same rights as all children.”

“Gypsy/Travellers have the same rights as anyone in the UK – we may live different lives, but we still have the same rights.”

“We all have our similarities no matter where we are from.”

“I want Gypsy/Travellers to be more respected and welcomed and less hatred against us.”

“Gypsy/Travellers to get the same respect and rights as any other person.”

“To have respect of shops, police and newspapers.”

Participants said they want…

“to be treated the same [as the settled community] and respected.”

“the right to travel.”

“to have places to pull [in to].”

“[the] right to stick to our culture.”

“to be treated equally in school and work.”

“don’t accuse people of things they haven’t done.”

“don’t listen to stereotypes, get to know people first.”